Listed with an agent for sale/rent then found a renter on my own

2 Replies

Hi BP,

I listed a house for rent/for sale with an agent in NJ. I haven't been impressed with her work so far and went ahead and found a renter on my own. We had agreed on first months rent as a finder's fee, but I ended up finding the tenant through my own listing. Am I legally obligated to pay her first months rent if she had nothing to do with the deal?

It may depend on if you had any agreement with the agent and what the agreement states. For example, an exclusive authorization to lease property agreement, depending on what it states, may legally obligate compensation for any tenant that signs a lease to the rental for a given period of time.

If the agent is still screening the applicant, putting them under contract, or doing other work on your behalf, then you should pay them.

If you found the tenant and take it back over, you shouldn't have to pay.

But all this depends on what your written agreement says. If you don't have a written agreement, walk away and be done with it.